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Chapter 4 - Lawrence’s Storm of Fecundity

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 June 2021

Aaron Matz
Affiliation:
Scripps College, California
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Summary

Chapter 4, “Lawrence’s Storm of Fecundity,” examines the stubborn ambivalence toward procreation throughout the novels of D. H. Lawrence. On the one hand Lawrence called the novel “the one bright book of life,” and was more eloquent than any other novelist in defending the form on the basis of its vitality. On the other hand the novels – from Sons and Lovers and The Rainbow to The Lost Girl and Lady Chatterley’s Lover – rarely admit procreation into their pages without a protracted struggle. Reproduction poses a number of problems for Lawrence: it is an outcome of sex that prioritizes procreative ends over erotic means; it is complicit in the spread of population and by extension the decimation of the English countryside; it threatens the autonomy of the individual, especially Ursula Brangwen in The Rainbow and Women in Love. This chapter offers a large-scale interpretation of Lawrence’s contradictions. It argues that in these opposite forces of life and not-life, perpetuation of vitality and suspension of it, we can discover the essential tension of his work. The novel is the theater of action in which this tension is allowed to reverberate.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Lawrence’s Storm of Fecundity
  • Aaron Matz, Scripps College, California
  • Book: The Novel and the Problem of New Life
  • Online publication: 24 June 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108989718.005
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  • Lawrence’s Storm of Fecundity
  • Aaron Matz, Scripps College, California
  • Book: The Novel and the Problem of New Life
  • Online publication: 24 June 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108989718.005
Available formats
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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Lawrence’s Storm of Fecundity
  • Aaron Matz, Scripps College, California
  • Book: The Novel and the Problem of New Life
  • Online publication: 24 June 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108989718.005
Available formats
×